Dream Machines

I think everyone is aware of so-called ‘convergent devices’: devices that provide functions (such as text, sound, moving image, net-enabled) that have previously only been available is separate units. A premium example is Microsoft’s upcoming Origami [see YouTube video]. I like the idea of a device that can do everything, but I don’t like the idea of a device that has a fixed shape and size. I don’t care if the screen is rotatable or reversable and I don’t care if a keyboard can fold out or not. I’m talking about the actual delivery device. There are times when I want to lie on a couch and watch a show on a big screen TV, times when I want to have a small device I can use as a phone, times when I want a couple of medium sized screens to work on, times I want a larger screen for presentations, times I just want a small radio, times when I want an unobtrusive screen while on a train. So, that is why the converged devices, that we are being offered at present, do not satisfy me. My dream machine is a device that is made of some flexible material, like a firm jelly, that I can manipulate to the shape I want. I can stretch it to a screen size that suits, and it sticks to walls. It can also shrink in my fist and stay small and compact. I want the feel of it to be changed from a luminous screen to paper and so on. That is my ultimate converged device. How long do the scientists need?

Since I’m on this soapbox I might as well add some other things I’d like to see happen sooner:

  • I want a light and/or tone to indicate on my TV when a show I like is on;
  • I want a light and/or tone to indicate on my TV when a recommendation for a TV show to watch from my mum comes through;
  • I want a website seen in a show or movie playing on my TV to automatically open up on my computer, inviting me to join in with what the characters are seeing and doing…

What do you want? What is your dream machine?